How do you express yourself creatively?

Maybe in many forms.

What excites you and comes easily to you?

In the middle of a deep, dark, winter, do you engage your hands in something artistic?

Me, I’m a writer, a journal-keeper (although this sporadically), photographer and a quilter.

The keyboard, paper and pen, a couple cameras and cotton are my mediums of choice.

Do you knit?

Cross-stitch? Oh yeah – I like to cross stitch too although it’s been years…….

But drawing and sketching?

They’re outside my comfort or talent zone.

So I dabble in this little A Sketch A Day journal. I certainly don’t sketch once a day, although I think if I did, my skills would improve. That’s what an instructor told me several years ago in a water-color class I took. It was my first attempt at this painting medium and I loved it and he was encouraging and said, like any skill, if I practiced every day –  it would come naturally to me.

But there are so many artistic avenues to explore and only so much time. If my days stretched on forever – I’d paint more. And so many deliciously lovely yarns, I’d learn to knit.

I’m always so impressed with people who pick up a sketch pad and re-create the life and scene that is going on around them – or the person – on paper and it comes to them naturally and fluidlike.

Don’t you find it interesting how we come to this world with certain, specific, innate abilities? Where do they come from? How are they packaged in our DNA?

I write this post to encourage you to try new ways to capture your world. Sketching forces me to slow down and observe and see depth and color and re-wire some synapses that don’t easily fire. You can see I’m VERY elementary. I have to challenge myself and feel like a kindergartner again – trying something new like I have a fat crayon in my hand and I’m concentrating until eventually I loosen up and just have fun.

And you know what else? I take pleasure in going back through the pages of sketches I’ve eeked out. I remember where I was and how the sun felt, or the longing felt, or the crisp air was that day. I bring up the memory and place with color and lines – instead of words. Well, I write just a few words about where I was or what I was thinking and I date it.

How about it? Ready and willing to try something new?

If you’re like I am (pushing 60 soon) it’s good for your brain and makes for healthy aging to try HARD things. Not just a Sudoku or crossword puzzle – try something sustained and new and different than where you would normally turn.

So, if, for example, gardening isn’t your thing – try growing something. Learn about the amount of sun it needs and the optimum soil and watering.

If you’re not a cook – try a new recipe or two. If you bake the same old tried and true (although nothing wrong in that, certainly) – try creating a masterpiece a lot more involved. Kick it up a notch. Push yourself.

If you quilt but don’t sew clothing – try switching it up – make yourself or some little person a dress or a blouse. Play with new fabrics. If you say you’re not a writer – try keeping a journal and recording not just events but how you feel about them – interpret your days. Be mindful of moments that pass.

Try photography – really notice how you’re framing a scene and pay attention to the importance of light. Almost everyone has a camera these days because everyone has a phone. And they take remarkably excellent photos. Go to for free photo editing and play around with light and cropping, add text to your photo and enhance the color.

Happy creating. Happy stretching. Happy re-wiring.

It’s all really good for you.


January 15, 2017 8 Comments BAlbright Health , , , , , , , , , , ,